PILLHEAD BEAUTY: The Product I Learned About From My Shrink Dad That I Don't Even Talk To Anymore

Wahhhhh! Issues!!!
Publish date:
March 9, 2012
shoppables, mouthwash, pillheads

Why HULLO scary bug-eyed midget! No, meet baby Caitlin – a.k.a. the glowy (will you


at that skintone!) young mutant-looking thing that eventually became the strung-out schizoid mess wearing a Pete Doherty “


” t-shirt sitting here cramming in a Friday afternoon story because she's been fucking up at work all week


And that, there in the background in the aviators, is her psychiatrist dad -- somewhere in the District of Columbia, bitches, and circa about 1983!

Since this story is about my dad and this is the only picture I have of him – seriously; my family is weird like that; this is also the only baby picture I have of myself! – that's why I’m running it -- not to be emo or anything.

I promise you I'm not trying to be all cute here: generally I think baby pictures are boring. Put some eyeliner on that thing and give it a ciggie! Ya know?!

That said, God. Me and my dad. What a mess.


Though I haven’t seen him a very long time and don’t even know exactly where he moved when he divorced my mother last year—Colorado? Missouri?—I imagine that my dad is doing the same things that he was doing when he was married to her: speeding around in his new BMW convertible from psych ward to psych ward blasting Brahms, smoking cigars on terraces, reading Harold Bloom, sending the biggest checks allowed to every Republican who wants cash you can think of, taking occasional weeks off for literal Arctic dogsledding expeditions that he describes as “heaven” (“But you ate REINDEER every night!”, I’d screech, hearing about them again and again as I did), seeing a woman named Susan who wears Hermes scarves draped dramatically and glamorously around her neck just so.

So while my dad is not a part of my life anymore – things fall apart, my dears – I still remember one “beauty tip” he gave me. He was my prescribing psychiatrist from ages fifteen through twenty-three, and during that time I took so many pills that I developed a bit of a “drymouth problem.”

Not sexy, or great (especially since, in retrospect, those truly were my most golden of “blowjob years”) (though babes, they’re not exactly over yet!).

My dad’s tip? He introduced me to this Biotene mouthwash, which specifically (and brilliantly) treats dry mouth (fancy term: Xerostomia) caused by (amongst other things) certain medications, psychiatric or otherwise.

It's super-breath-freshening, but mild-tasting and gentle. I bought it at the drugstore (by the pharmacy counter, natch), but you can get it on Amazon.com too, if you haven't spent the past 15 years hanging out at a pharmacy counter like it was your boyfriend's house or something like I have.

There's also gum, which I find super-appealling: designed to stimulate salivia flow (crucial for le beej):

It's also good for coffee-guzzling editors who stress out a lot (another cause of cottonmouth), smokers, or just anyone who can't force themselves to drink water constantly.

Any other drymouth tips, my little junkies?

Cat's on Twitter @cat_marnell.